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Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems
Number of Followers: 3  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2571-581X
Published by Frontiers Media Homepage  [96 journals]
  • Designing for change through “reflecting and doing”: the CGIAR
           Community of Practice on Gender-Transformative Research Methodologies

    • Authors: Diana E. Lopez, Arwen Bailey, Cathy Rozel Farnworth, Anne Rietveld, Hom Gartaula
      Abstract: Gender-transformative change requires a commitment from everyone involved in agricultural research for development (AR4D) including organizations at international and national level, individual researchers and practitioners, farmers, development agencies, policy-makers and consumers, to transform the existing values, practices and priorities that (re)produce and perpetuate gender biases and inequities in agrifood systems. However, the adoption of a gender transformative agenda can be challenging, especially for AR4D organizations whose primary focus is not necessarily the attainment of gender equality. This paper looks at a collective, bottom-up, transformative effort within the AR4D organization of CGIAR. It advances the emerging CGIAR Community of Practice on Gender Transformative Research Methodologies (GTRM-CoP) as a case study to explore the potential of CoPs as social learning systems that create the conditions for transformation-oriented learning. Driven by an ethos of reflecting and doing anchored in critical and feminist principles and social learning praxis, the GTRM-CoP aims to be a safe space to spur reflexivity, creativity and collaboration to support existing work on gender transformation in CGIAR while re-imagining how gender in AR4D is conceptualized, negotiated and advanced. The paper focuses on the process leading to the development of the CoP, that is, designing for change, which is crucial for sustained transformation.
      PubDate: 2023-09-26T00:00:00Z
  • Pop-up restoration in colonial contexts: applying an indigenous food
           systems lens to ecological restoration

    • Authors: Jennifer Grenz, Chelsey Geralda Armstrong
      Abstract: As environmental injustices and their disproportionate harms to Indigenous communities are increasingly acknowledged, restoration strategies are being deployed widely by environmental NGOs, resource extraction industries, and government agencies. The inclusion of Indigenous communities and their knowledges in restoration efforts are often considered progress in the pursuit of ecological reconciliation. However, in some cases we have observed a lack of meaningful progress as settler colonial prescriptions for land-healing can eschew efforts to decolonize ecological restoration — what we have labeled “pop-up restoration.” We consider two restoration efforts underway in St’at’imc and Quw’utsun territories (Canada) and contrast them with what we are learning alongside the communities’ own values and efforts to reclaim and revitalize food systems throughout forest, wetland, and grassland systems. Utilizing culturally appropriate pathways, we then evaluate how applying an Indigenous Food Systems lens to ecological restoration may provide a framework to remedy pop-up restoration, confronting settler colonial aspirations to transform Indigenous homelands while asserting justice in ecological restoration contexts.
      PubDate: 2023-09-26T00:00:00Z
  • Artificial intelligence in postharvest agriculture: mapping a research
           agenda|Introduction|Methods|Results and discussion

    • Authors: Tobi Fadiji, Tebogo Bokaba, Olaniyi Amos Fawole, Hossana Twinomurinzi
      Abstract: IntroductionThe implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) in postharvest agriculture has significantly improved in recent decades, thanks to extensive scientific research. The study aimed to identify research gaps and hotspots for future research based on keyword co-occurrence and clustering analyses, as well as to discuss the results and highlight the research trends.MethodsThis study analyses research trends in AI application in postharvest agriculture using novel scientometric tools such as the Bibliometrix R package, biblioshiny, and VosViewer. The research analysed 586 published papers on AI application in postharvest agriculture research between 1994 and September 2022, retrieved from the Scopus database.Results and discussionThe results showed that publications on AI applications in postharvest agriculture research have been increasing for almost 30 years, with significant growth in the subject area in the last decade. China, the USA, and India were found to be the top three most productive countries, accounting for 52.4%, 22%, and 18.6% of the total selected publications, respectively. The analysis also revealed that topics such as the Internet of Things, cold chain logistics, big data, decision-making, and real-time monitoring have low development degrees in the knowledge domain. This study demonstrated increased research on AI applications in postharvest agriculture, aiming to reduce postharvest losses, enhance food nutrition and quality, and mitigate food insecurity. It also provides valuable scientific references on AI applications in postharvest agriculture research for researchers and scholars. By identifying research gaps and hotspots, this study can guide future research in AI applications in postharvest agriculture to further improve the industry.
      PubDate: 2023-09-26T00:00:00Z
  • Year-round growth potential and moisture stress tolerance of buckwheat
           (Fagopyrum esculentum L.) under fragile hill ecosystems of the Eastern
           Himalayas (India)|Introduction|Methods|Results and discussion

    • Authors: Krishnappa Rangappa, Dipjyoti Rajkhowa, Jayanta Layek, Anup Das, Uday Sankar Saikia, Kaberi Mahanta, Anjan Kumar Sarma, Prabha Moirangthem, Vinay Kumar Mishra, Nishant Anandrao Deshmukh, Namrata Rajbonshi, Basant K. Kandpal
      Abstract: IntroductionUnder a changing climate, the fragile ecosystems of the Eastern Himalayas (EH) are persistently challenged by prolonged dry spells and erratic rainfall. Identification of suitable high-yielding crops with higher moisture stress tolerance and adaptability is paramount for the region. Although the region received a good amount of rainfall in the rainy season, the winter months, viz., November to March, rarely received any rain. Even within the rainy season, there are several intermittent drought spells that hinder crop productivity.MethodsThe present study has used field and microcosm experiments to assess the year-round cultivation potential and extent of moisture stress tolerance in the lesser-known buckwheat crop of the region.Results and discussionSowing of buckwheat from mid-September to mid-December produced better grain yield, the highest being when sowing in October (9.83 q ha−1) and the crop was found suitable to grow all through the year for higher green biomass (12.6–38.4 q ha−1). The moisture stress tolerance of buckwheat was significantly enhanced by increased total root length and root surface area by 12.4 and 34.7%, respectively. Increased photo-protective carotenoids, chlorophyll b, and favorable stomatal attributes with substantial epicuticular wax have significantly improved the moisture stress tolerance of Buckwheat. In addition, leaf proline was found 25.4% higher and total soluble protein, reducing sugar, and cell membrane stability were found 29.2, 38.1, and 36.5% lower compared to the control, respectively. A significantly lower rate of water loss (25.6%) with its stomatal and non-stomatal adaptations and versatile pollen structural traits under moisture stress over control, make the buckwheat crop potentially more stress tolerant and economical crop for EH of India.
      PubDate: 2023-09-26T00:00:00Z
  • Thematic evidencing of youth-empowering interventions in livestock
           production systems in Sub-Sahara Africa: a systematic review

    • Authors: Eileen Bogweh Nchanji, Kelvin Kamunye, Collins Ageyo
      Abstract: Five to seven in every 10 people in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are youths. They have significantly low employment rates but are unattracted to agriculture. Recently, the sector has witnessed considerable efforts by African governments to promote youth participation. While these efforts have started to bear fruits, salient gender issues remain hard to address and solve promptly. For example, youth empowerment issues—whether mutual or emancipative, asset ownership, taboos and cultural expectations, perceptions against climate change, and use of technology and ICT significantly influence livestock production among pastoralists and agro-pastoralists. While these problems are partly known and being solved, it is to be understood the extent and the salient gender issues that drive youth participation in livestock production. To understand this, we conducted a systematic review using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines to thematically synthesize and evidence the youth-empowering interventions in livestock production systems in Sub-Sahara Africa. Peer-reviewed studies were retrieved from online databases (Scopus, Google ScholarTM, and gray literature). The findings show that youth face significant barriers to participating in livestock systems ranging from limited empowerment, limited access to productive assets and land, social-cultural limitations and inadequate youth-focused policy implementation. Despite the hurdles, youths, and other actors are employing various mechanisms to overcome them and enhance their participation in livestock systems. They utilize self-driven approaches such as gifting animals amongst themselves, forming saving groups commonly referred to as merry-go-rounds and belonging to community group formations as a form of social capital to empower themselves mutually. Education is also an empowerment tool for youths in the livestock sector. Emancipative empowerment through participation in political and community-level leadership is taking shape, though still in its infancy. There are opportunities presented by small ruminants and poultry where women and youths are getting a voice in the community by becoming relatively income independent and desisting from waiting for the inheritance of large livestock and assets from men. Opportunities presented by ICT in the field of livestock have been taken advantage of through the use of various apps and internet tools to enhance youth participation in livestock systems.
      PubDate: 2023-09-25T00:00:00Z
  • Strength and weakness of the National Nutrition Improvement Program in
           Rural and Nomadic Women: findings from a policy triangle

    • Authors: Naser Kalantari, Morteza Abdollahi, Parisa Amiri, Farid Zayeri, Neda Ezzeddin
      Abstract: IntroductionNutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA) is a comprehensive, inter-sectoral approach to improve food security and nutrition. In Iran, “National Nutrition Improvement Program in Rural and Nomadic Women” has been developed and implemented as a NSA program. The main purpose of this study was analysis of this program using the Policy Triangle Framework.MethodsThis was a qualitative policy analysis study, which was conducted retrospectively. The study population included policymakers and executors at macro (Tehran Province) and micro levels (County and village) from the two involved ministries, as well as rural women in Tehran province. The collected data included the program document (N = 210), in-depth semi-structured interviews (N = 40), as well as focus group discussions (N = 8). Data was analyzed using MAXQDA 2010 software with a deductive approach.ResultsThe findings of this study indicated that the underlying factors including social, economic and cultural status, health, structural-environmental and political are associated to the development of the program. The current program is a multi-faceted, in accordance with the existing needs, which provides opportunities to improve nutrition and community health, empower women, strengthen socio-economic status at the micro and macro levels and pave the way for other projects, by connecting the nutrition sector to agriculture. The analysis has also shown that the content of this program requires more consideration in budget and motivational measures. Although developing an NSA program based on inter-sectoral collaboration is a valuable step, it needs to be improved in the areas of sustainability, inter-sectoral collaboration, resources and facilities, monitoring and evaluation, as well as needs assessment.ConclusionThe findings of the present study can be used as evidence by policymakers and planners in redesigning and implementing the program, or developing other NSA programs.
      PubDate: 2023-09-22T00:00:00Z
  • Ensuring food safety with molecularly imprinted polymers: innovative
           methods for the detection of aflatoxins in food and feed samples

    • Authors: Asghar Ali, Aqsa Sadiqa, Hamna Ilyas, Ayesha Bibi, Urvah Hussain, Naseer Iqbal, Adnan Mujahid, Adeel AFZAL
      Abstract: Aflatoxins, a group of mycotoxins, represent a heterogeneous class of secondary metabolites that pose a significant risk to food safety and public health due to their potent toxicity. Aflatoxins are widely distributed in the environment, with high levels frequently observed in hot and humid conditions. There is an ongoing development of various methods for detecting aflatoxins in food and feed samples. Herein, a review of these methods is presented with special emphasis on molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) as selective materials for aflatoxins’ detection. The key findings of various methods for real-time analysis of food and feed samples are presented and analyzed, providing a comparative assessment of their performance. Furthermore, the challenges and limitations of these methods are discussed, considering their commercialization prospects and real-world requirements.
      PubDate: 2023-09-22T00:00:00Z
  • Is increasing income the only reason for rural labor mobility'—A case
           study of Heilongjiang, China|Introduction|Methods|Results|Discussion

    • Authors: Yanzhi Hao, Jia Chi, Gangyi Wang
      Abstract: IntroductionIt is widely known that rural labor mobility is of the utmost importance for the livelihoods of families in rural areas of developing countries. While it increases the income and overall labor productivity of rural households, it also creates many inevitable rural recessions. Existing studies have different views on whether increasing income is the only reason for rural labor mobility.MethodsThis paper discusses the influencing factors of rural labor mobility and investigates research on the causes of rural labor mobility. To do so, the study analyzes micro-survey data of 47 villages in 13 cities in Heilongjiang province, China, from 2014 to 2019. Considering the basic situation of rural families and labor mobility, the actual demand for rural laborers in Heilongjiang province is also analyzed.ResultsThe research results show that increasing income is not the only reason for the flow of rural labor, and that rural labor mobility requires more than just rising incomes.DiscussionThis study's main contribution is identifying that increased income does have a positive and significant impact on rural labor mobility, but seeking job opportunities, pursuing better-quality education for children, and developing prospects are significant factors in the current rural labor mobility.
      PubDate: 2023-09-21T00:00:00Z
  • Describing food safety perceptions among growers and vendors in Cambodian
           informal vegetable markets

    • Authors: Sabrina Mosimann, Keorimy Ouk, Nora M. Bello, Malyheng Chhoeun, Leah Thompson, Jessie Vipham, Lyda Hok, Paul Ebner
      Abstract: Improving food safety often requires individuals or groups to adopt new food safety behaviors. Understanding individuals’ perceptions of food safety is an important step in creating programs that enable the adoption of such behaviors. To inform the design of food safety programs in Cambodia, this study measured perceptions of vegetable safety among vegetable growers (n = 69; Battambang, Siem Reap) and vendors (n = 31; Phnom Penh) involved in Cambodian informal vegetable markets using a quantitative questionnaire. The majority of respondents (≥ 62.7%, lower bounds of 95% confidence intervals at least 46.2%) across all groups (growers and vendors) were at least “moderately concerned” (scale: “extremely concerned,” “moderately concerned,” “slightly concerned,” “not concerned at all”) about the safety of vegetables sold in Cambodia. However, the mean estimated probability of respondents reporting that chemical contamination was of greater concern than microbial contamination was 84.9% [76.0, 90.9]%. Most respondents reported familiarity with the health effects of consuming chemically (71.4% [61.5, 79.6]%) or microbially (57.3% [47.2, 66.9]%) contaminated vegetables. However, less than half (between 7.3% and 48.4%) of all respondents provided a commonly recognized example of such health effects. Across all groups, respondents most frequently perceived contamination of vegetables as occurring primarily “at the farm” (≥ 76.7%, lower bounds of 95% confidence intervals at least 61.5%, and ≥ 39.3%, lower bounds of 95% confidence intervals at least 21.2%, respectively). Additionally, most respondents (≥ 51.6%, lower bounds of 95% confidence intervals at least 34.0%) perceived “vegetable farmers” as primarily responsible for preventing chemical contamination. Perceptions of responsibility for preventing microbial contamination varied across groups (p = 0.02). Of the vendors in Phnom Penh, growers in Battambang, and growers in Siem Reap involved in this research, 22.6%, 39.0%, and 53.6%, respectively, described at least one commonly accepted contamination prevention practice. These results suggest that food safety programs for each of the described groups should include efforts to increase participants’ understanding of the health impacts of consuming contaminated vegetables. However, specific emphasis should be placed on increasing awareness on the health impacts of consuming vegetables contaminated with microbial pathogens as respondents were generally less aware and concerned with microbial vs. chemical contamination of vegetables. Additionally, programs targeting vegetable growers could leverage growers’ sense of personal responsibility for both contamination and contamination prevention, while programs for vegetable vendors may need to emphasize the importance of vendors in ensuring vegetable safety.
      PubDate: 2023-09-20T00:00:00Z
  • Stochastic evolutionary game analysis of food cooperation among countries
           along the Belt and Road from the perspective of food

    • Authors: Mao Qinghua, Xu Linyao, Sun Qilong, Guo Mengxin
      Abstract: IntroductionIn recent years, the combination of the public health crisis and the climate crisis has greatly weakened the resilience of food systems. The Belt and Road food cooperation will make outstanding contributions to consolidate food security and reduce global poverty in countries along the Belt and Road.MethodsThis paper constructs a three-party stochastic evolutionary game model from the perspective of food security, distinguishes the difference between large and small countries by calculating the cereal self-sufficiency rate, which studies the cooperation strategy with the Belt and Road cereal large countries, cereal small countries and regulatory committees as the object. In addition, we introduce the Gaussian white noise characteristics to characterize the stochastic disturbance of the game system. Then we combine the mathematical derivation of the stochastic evolutionary game analysis with the simulation method, examine the effect of the stochastic disturbance factors on the cooperation, and find out the factors that affect the cooperation. And finally verifies the model and proves the reasonableness and practicability of the model.ResultsThe stochastic evolutionary game model analyzes the interaction of stochastic disturbance and influencing factors from a dynamic perspective, and the stability of evolution is related to the strength of Gaussian white noise. The level of effort of large cereal countries and the incentives of regulatory committees can have a positive impact, but high income in small cereal countries can lead to instability in the strategic choices of other players.DiscussionTaking the countries along the Belt and Road as the research object, Gaussian white noise is introduced to describe the stochastic external environment, discriminate the stability of the game system through stochastic differential equations, and analyze the influencing factors of the dynamic behavioral strategies of the parties in combination with simulation methods. To improve the capacity of national food security governance and help improve the resilience of the world food system.
      PubDate: 2023-09-20T00:00:00Z
  • Production decisions and food security outcomes of smallholder’s
           livestock market participation: empirical evidence from Zimbabwe

    • Authors: Mequanint B. Melesse, Amos Nyangira Tirra, Sabine Homann-Kee Tui, Andre F. Van Rooyen, Michael Hauser
      Abstract: Smallholder market participation is an important pathway to improving the productivity and livelihoods of farm households. Despite several studies documenting the effect of market participation on crop production, relatively little is known about the effect of smallholder participation in livestock markets. We investigate effects of smallholder market participation on livestock production and household food security in Zimbabwe. Using survey data collected from 625 households and an instrumental variables strategy to address endogeneity concerns, we find that households participating in livestock markets are more likely to engage in market-oriented livestock production, use improved livestock inputs, and have better food security outcomes. While market participants are more likely to consider market conditions in their decisions, most farmers are needs-driven and cannot afford to adopt commercial-oriented behavior. Overall, smallholder livestock production systems respond to market incentives and can support food security strategies, particularly in drylands where crop production is risky.
      PubDate: 2023-09-20T00:00:00Z
  • Developing active chitosan-based edible film for extending the shelf life
           of guacamole

    • Authors: Monserrat Mora-Sánchez, Paola Hernández-Carranza, Carolina Ramírez-López, Irving Israel Ruiz-López, Carlos Enrique Ochoa-Velasco
      Abstract: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of edible films (EFs) on important parameters of fresh guacamole and to select the best EF for evaluating its stability and protection effect after 28 days of storage (at 4 and 20°C). EFs based on chitosan (2%), glycerol (1%), citric acid (1.5–2.5%), and lemon-onion extract (0–2%) were applied on the surface of fresh guacamole to evaluate its effect in its color and microbiological and antioxidant properties after 48 h of storage (at 4 and 20°C). Results indicated that EFs delay the total color change and increase the antioxidant capacity of guacamole, while the microbial count was less than 100 CFU/g and 10 CFU/g for mesophylls and molds plus yeasts, respectively. According to the lowest total color change (7.93–14.92) and highest antioxidant capacity (1201.22 mg Trolox/100 g), EF1 (2% chitosan, 1% glycerol, 1.5% citric acid, and 2% lemon-onion extract) was selected for its analysis during the storage. After 28 d of storage at 4 and 20°C, a slight change in the physical characteristics of the EF was observed, while microbial load and antioxidant properties remained constant. Moreover, the selected EF maintained its capacity to avoid guacamole browning, being well-accepted by consumers (I like - I like much) who did not detect the application of EF, even after 24 h of its application onto the fresh guacamole. Results presented in this study indicated that developed EF maintained the quality characteristics of guacamole, and its effect did not change after 28 d of storage.
      PubDate: 2023-09-20T00:00:00Z
  • Fermentation quality, aerobic stability, and microbiome structure and
           function of Caragana korshinskii silage inoculated with/without
           Lactobacillus rhamnosus or Lactobacillus buchneri

    • Authors: Baiyila Wu, Juanjuan Ai, Tiyu Li, Weize Qin, Zongfu Hu, Tuya Siqin, Tiemei Wu, Chao Wang, Huaxin Niu
      Abstract: Caragana korshinskii is a forage shrub species with high-protein content that has been extensively used to alleviate feed shortages for ruminants in northern China. Herein, we investigated the effects of Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus buchneri on the fermentation quality, aerobic stability, and microbiome composition and the predicted functional characteristics of C. korshinskii silage. C. korshinskii silages were inoculated with and without L. rhamnosus or L. buchneri. After 14 and 56 days of ensiling, the aerobic stability was determined. The results revealed that after 14 and 56 days of ensiling, L. rhamnosus- and L. buchneri-inoculated silage exhibited increased acetic acid and lactic acid contents, whereas the pH and 2,3-butanediol and butyric acid contents were decreased compared with those of the control silage. The control silages that were opened at 14 and 56 d, deteriorated during the aerobic stability test, whereas silages inoculated with L. rhamnosus and L. buchneri did not exhibit any aerobic deterioration. The control silage showed an increased Clostridium and Bacillus abundance, whereas Lactobacillus abundance decreased compared with L. rhamnosus- and L. buchneri-inoculated silages, following the 7 days of aerobic exposure. The fermentation parameters were associated with microbial communities, including Lactobacillus, Pedicoccus, Weissella, Clostridium, and Bacillus. Carbohydrate and amino acid metabolisms in the control silage decreased after 7 days of aerobic exposure compared with lactic acid bacteria-inoculated silages. To conclude, next-generation sequencing combined with 16S ribosomal RNA gene-predicted functional analyses might provide new information about the silage quality during fermentation and the aerobic stability.
      PubDate: 2023-09-20T00:00:00Z
  • Assessment of the variation in nutritional composition and safety of dried
           recovered food from United States households and prospects for use in
           chicken feed|Introduction|Methods|Results and discussion

    • Authors: Geoff Hill, Azita Sayadi, Joseph D. Gendreau, Zachary Tobar, Yanhong Liu, Maurice E. Pitesky, Christopher W. Simmons
      Abstract: IntroductionNew poultry feed valorization pathways for recovered household food could be enabled by commercially available household devices that dry uneaten food material, arrest spoilage, and preserve nutrient content. However, the nutrient composition, safety, and feed incorporation potential of dried recovered household food (DRHF) is presently unknown.MethodsThirty-eight households spanning 31 states participated in a 4-to-6-week survey to generate and collect food residues that were dried using an in-home device. The DRHF samples were evaluated for chemical composition, digestibility of energy and amino acids, and safety to determine their potential for inclusion in chicken feed.Results and discussionThe DRHF had average levels of 15.9% crude protein, 13.3% crude fat, and 22.6% neutral detergent fiber, and 3.18 kcal/g of nitrogen-adjusted true metabolizable energy (by dry weight). The Windows User-Friendly Feed Formulation 2.1 modeler was used to perform linear programming and develop chicken feed rations for broilers and layers that incorporated DRHF alongside conventional feed ingredients, including corn, soybean meal, dicalcium phosphate, limestone, synthetic amino acids, salt, vitamin premix, and mineral premix. The feed formulation results showed that, on average, DRHF incorporation rates of up to 33 and 37% (by weight) are predicted to avoid any nutrient deficiencies or electrolyte imbalances in the broiler and layer rations, respectively. In the broiler ration, DRHF displaced corn, soybean meal, and limestone to varying degrees, while corn, soybean meal, animal fat, dicalcium phosphate, and limestone were substantially displaced in the layer rations. Addition of vitamin premix was predicted as necessary to facilitate DRHF inclusion in the layer rations. Furthermore, foodborne pathogens, mycotoxins, and heavy metals were either absent or below United States regulatory threshold levels. Measured levels of biogenic amines and fat/oil oxidation were consistent with prior research showing compatibility with chickens. These results can inform future in vivo feeding trials to validate the use of DRHF with varying properties in poultry feed.
      PubDate: 2023-09-20T00:00:00Z
  • Farmers in the transition toward sustainability: what is the role of their
           entrepreneurial identity'|Introduction|Methods|Results and discussion

    • Authors: Eleonora Sofia Rossi, Valentina C. Materia, Francesco Caracciolo, Emanuele Blasi, Stefano Pascucci
      Abstract: IntroductionThe European Union has recently prompted a shift toward Ecological Intensification (EI) practices, aiming to harmonize agricultural productivity and environmental conservation. Despite the benefits of EI, its implementation has been limited, as farmers face challenges in business reorganization and supply chain adaptation. This paper investigates the role of contract farming (CF) in promoting the adoption of sustainable practices among Italian wheat producers. Specifically, it analyzes the influence of farmers’ entrepreneurial identity on their engagement in such initiatives.MethodsUsing the case study of Barilla Group’s Carta del Mulino initiative, an innovative contract farming scheme incentivizing sustainable EI practices, the study explores the relationship between entrepreneurial identity and participation in CF schemes supporting EI. Data from a sample of 314 soft wheat farmers in four regions of Northern Italy were collected to examine the role of entrepreneurial identity in the adoption of sustainable practices and participation in CF schemes. To evaluate the research hypotheses, two distinct econometric models were developed.Results and discussionThe findings reveal that farmers with a more developed entrepreneurial identity are more likely to adopt more sustainable agricultural practices and engage in contractual schemes involving EI practices. The study highlights the importance of fostering and supporting farmers’ entrepreneurial identity while increasing their knowledge of alternative agricultural techniques to address the challenges of the agricultural sector. This integration of individual perspectives (entrepreneurial identity) with a systems view (contract farming schemes) offers valuable insights for future research, policy, and practice in agri-food systems sustainability.
      PubDate: 2023-09-19T00:00:00Z
  • Measurement and temporal and spatial characteristics of agricultural
           eco-efficiency under climate change: a case study of Anhui,

    • Authors: Hao Dong, Jichang Han, Yang Zhang, Tianqing Chen, Zenghui Sun, Xiandong Hou, Yu Liu
      Abstract: IntroductionAgricultural eco-efficiency is an important index to evaluate the agricultural sustainable development and ecological economics, while simultaneously providing a metric for improvements to the rural environment and the stability of agricultural ecosystems.MethodsThis study took Anhui province as a case, and applied unit survey and list analysis methodologies to quantify rural agricultural non-point source pollution (NPS). Input-oriented super-efficient DEA-SBM was used to measure agricultural eco-efficiency in the typical North-South Transition Zone, and evaluated spatial correlations and differences.ResultsThis study showed that NPS was relatively stable, with less than 5% local variation in Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Total Nitrogen (TN), and Total Phosphorus (TP) pollutants. The environmental pressure caused by livestock breeding and the use of chemical fertilizers was very substantial, and the differences of rural agricultural NPS in Anhui Province had obvious north-south characteristics. The agricultural eco-efficiency exhibited an “inverted N” trend. Affected by the “Spatial proximity effect” and the “Matthew effect”, it presented spatial agglomeration and positive spatial correlation. The regional differences were significant, and the heterogeneity increased in our study areas. The southern region had the greatest variation, followed by the northern region, with the smallest variation in the central region, although inter-regional differences were consistent.DiscussionThough the rational allocation of resources, coordination between agricultural economic and environmental protection would be realized, and better conditions for the sustainable development of agricultural ecology and the long-term stability of agricultural ecosystem would be created.
      PubDate: 2023-09-19T00:00:00Z
  • Temporal characterization of biogas slurry: a pre-requisite for
           sustainable nutrigation in crop production

    • Authors: Rashmi Yadav, Susama Sudhishri, Manoj Khanna, Khajanchi Lal, Anchal Dass, H. L. Kushwaha, Kalikinkar Bandyopadhyay, Abir Dey, Ajay Kushwah, Ramineni Harsha Nag
      Abstract: Biogas slurry serves as a useful organic fertilizer due to its substantial nutrient content, and its characterization enables the evaluation of nutrient content and its efficient utilization. This study focuses on the variations in the nutrient content of biogas slurry from different dairy farm systems located near the ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) (New Delhi), Daryapur Kalan (New Delhi), and Madanpur (Uttar Pradesh) during the pre-monsoon, monsoon, and post-monsoon seasons. The study reveals significant variations in macronutrient levels, particularly nitrogen (N), which showed variations exceeding 3% and a wider range of almost 6% during the pre-monsoon and post-monsoon periods. Spatial differences between dairy farms also contributed to the variance, with more than 10% differences observed between IARI and Daryapur Kalan and between IARI and Madanpur. Phosphorus (P) remained stable across seasons with spatial variation, while potassium (K) exhibited a reverse trend. Correlation analysis highlighted strong positive associations between N content and phosphorus (0.959), organic carbon (0.954), pH (0.813), and electrical conductivity (0.806). The findings suggest the use of biogas slurry has a potential to reduce the synthetic fertilizer consumption of N, P, and K by approximately 8.78%, 11.01%, and 14.33%, respectively and using them for further for nutrigation.
      PubDate: 2023-09-18T00:00:00Z
  • Priority quality traits for gendered sweetpotato breeding in

    • Authors: Sarah Mayanja, Samuel Edgar Tinyiro, David Martin Ogwal, Godwill Makunde, Abdul Naico, Mariam Nakitto, Reuben Ssali, Maria Andrade
      Abstract: IntroductionSweetpotato breeders strive to develop varieties that address productivity challenges farmers face in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, adoption of these varieties is low, partly attributed to limited attention to attributes desired by the end-users.MethodsThis study sought to identify the key traits preferred by eight women processors and 426 consumers (180 male, 246 female) in Manhiça, Marracuene and Maputo districts, Mozambique. Processing diagnostics and consumer studies evaluated two local varieties (‘Lilas’, ‘N’santimuni’) and two improved varieties (‘Alisha’, ‘Irene’). Data from processors were analyzed using content analysis and summary statistics. Consumer hedonic data were analyzed using clustering and regression models, while Penalty analysis and Multiple correspondence analysis were performed for the Just-about-right and Check-all-that-apply tests respectively.ResultsProcessors prioritized mealiness, sweet taste, not fibrous, good sweetpotato smell, ease of peeling, easy to cook and good appearance for the boiled root. ‘N’santimuni’ was the most preferred variety for processing. Consumers preferred ‘N’santimuni’ and ‘Lilas’ because of their high dry matter, pleasant sweetpotato smell, firmness in the hand, smoothness when eating and sweet taste. ‘Alisha’ and ‘Irene’ were the most penalized for low scores on sweetness, mealiness, and firmness. Women consumed sweetpotato more frequently than men and had better discernment of sweet taste, homogeneity and colour. Also, youth and more educated consumers disliked improved varieties more than adults and lower income consumers.DiscussionProcessors and consumers strongly indicated their preference and importance of quality attributes such as mealiness, sweet taste, firmness for boiled sweetpotato. However, such traits are rarely included in breeding designs. Breeding programs can thus be enhanced by studies of biophysical and chemical parameters of sweetpotato. This will enable quantification incorporation of these quality attributes.
      PubDate: 2023-09-15T00:00:00Z
  • The role of iGeneration and Silver generation in shaping sustainable food
           markets: a cross-generational analysis in Slovakia

    • Authors: Elena Horská, Erik Janšto, Peter Šedík
      Abstract: The rising global phenomenon of sustainable consumption in the food market is progressively influencing a significant number of consumers on a worldwide scale. The main goal of this study was to analyze consumer attitudes toward selected sustainability issues (organic aspects, animal welfare, waste management, etc.) as well as marketing communication in the food market among two generations. Primary data were acquired by implementing an online questionnaire. In total, 950 respondents participated in the survey. The results showed that the iGeneration (iGen; 18–25 years) has a higher tendency than the Silver generation (58–76 years) to support sustainability issues such as recyclable packaging, organic production, and animal welfare, as well as to read the information regarding the product nutrition and composition. The Silver generation is more inclined toward Slovak origin and traditional Slovak dishes, and they consider television and the press as the main source of information. The results provide valuable insights for agrifood companies in developing consumer-driven marketing strategies. The main limitation is related to the application of self-reported measures. Future research may include cross-cultural studies and could be extended by incorporating other sustainable and environmental aspects.
      PubDate: 2023-09-15T00:00:00Z
  • Peptidomics approaches to the discovery and ACE inhibitory effect of
           casein peptides derived from fermented bovine milk by kefir

    • Authors: Bo Wang, Shan Xiao, Yanxue Cai, Xuan Chen, Jihui Wang
      Abstract: IntroductionKefir grains with efficient proteolytic system is an excellent starter culture for the production of bioactive peptides and milk products. This study explores the casein peptides derived from fermented bovine milk by kefir grains using the peptidomics approaches. The angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory activity of these peptides were also investigated.MethodsAfter fermentation, peptidomics based on the LC-MS/MS was used to investigate the dynamic profile and the structure specificity of generated peptides. The ACE inhibitory activity of peptides was determined by measuring the amount of hippuric acid (HA) by a spectrophotometer at 228 nm.ResultsThe results indicated that the cell envelope proteinases (CEPs) were the PI-/PIII-type. A total of 122 peptides were identified. The β-casein was preferentially hydrolyzed by kefir grains, and the main hydrolysis regions were f57-93, f132-160 and f192-209. The αs1-, and κ-casein were also hydrolyzed by a weaker degree. In the process of fermentation, the accumulated peptides increased with the fermentation time. The fermentation products exhibited ACE inhibitory activity, and this bioactivity remained 63% after simulated gastrointestinal (GI) digestion in vitro. Additionally, 14 Pro-containing peptides with ACE inhibitory activity were also identified.ConclusionThese results provide new insights and evidence to investigate the bioactive milk peptides generated by kefir grains fermentation, as well as a reference for the development of functional foods.
      PubDate: 2023-09-15T00:00:00Z
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